The power of hindsight: Funding Zuzalu retrospectively
31. May 2023 by Holke Brammer
A novel concept In the ever-evolving landscape of community funding we want to introduce a novel concept: retrospective funding with the aid of hypercerts. By combining the power of hindsight and blockchain technology, Zuzalu aims to update how we evaluate and support community events. In this blog post, we will explore the rationale behind this innovative approach and why it holds tremendous potential for future endeavors. Retrospective Funding: Embracing Uncertainty Resolution One of the core elements of retrospective funding is acknowledging and appreciating the risks taken by the initial funders, such as Vitalik Buterin in the case of Zuzalu (thank you!). It made the event possible in the first place and allows others to contribute later. By retrospectively funding the project, participants and sponsors are empowered to assess the event's outcomes, subevents, professional opportunities, personal growth, and the invaluable connections and friendships formed. This resolution of uncertainty allows individuals to approximately gauge the impact the event had on them, providing a unique perspective for making voluntary contributions. Subjectively Translating Impact into Monetary Contributions Quantifying the value gained and translating it into monetary contributions from an experience like Zuzalu is a challenging task. We recognize this, emphasizing that participants are best suited to evaluate the impact on themselves based on their own judgment. While we want to reward the impact that an event generated instead of just covering its costs, cost transparency of the event also helps to guide the translation into monetary terms: The cost of Zuzalu, beyond what participants paid, was around ~$1M for 200 full-time residents and over 600 visitors. The voluntary nature of the retrospective contributions ensures that each person can make a meaningful and personal financial decision, aligning their resources with the impact they perceived from the event. Rewarding Past Contributors and Funding the Next Zuzalu The collected funds will be used to retrospectively reward contributors, especially those who dedicated significant hours to volunteering. Beyond this, the funds will support the planning and execution of the next Zuzalu event. Conceptually, we can envision this as a water mill. Vitalik as the initial sponsor sets the wheel in motion, and subsequent retrospective sponsors keep the mill spinning, preventing future events from relying solely on prospective funders. Let us keep the wheel spinning. Hypercerts: Unveiling Transparency and Accountability Hypercerts, impact certificates implemented as semi-fungible tokens, serve as an important component of Zuzalu's retrospective funding model. These immutable certificates enhance the visibility of contributions, especially those that may go unnoticed or undervalued, such as managing invites and accommodations. Our first experiment with the Zuzalu Community Fund during the Public Goods Hackathon demonstrated this: The hypercert for general organization and for housing received the most funds. With hypercerts, the contributions become a visible and verifiable record. Transparency helps avoid conflicts arising from the division of funds, fostering an atmosphere of trust and accountability. Furthermore, the integration of evaluations linked to hypercerts provides valuable feedback for sponsors who haven’t been at the event themselves, helping them understand the impact their support has had and informing their decisions for future funding. Beyond Financialization: Maintaining the Spirit of Community While hypercerts offer immense potential, there is a word of caution against overusing them and potentially financializing every aspect of social interaction. Zuzalu recognizes the importance of preserving and fostering the spirit of volunteering and community engagement. Retrospective funding should not undermine the intrinsic value of contributing. By carefully navigating the use of hypercerts, Zuzalu ensures that transparency and accountability coexist harmoniously with the organic and non-transactional nature of community involvement. Building a Sustainable Future: Collectables and Feedback Retrospective funding and hypercerts empower participants to actively contribute to the future sustainability of Zuzalu and similar initiatives. By creating a record of contributors and allowing individuals to collect hypercerts, Zuzalu fosters a sense of pride and recognition within the community. Contributors and sponsors are acknowledged on the Impact Sponsorship Billboard. Hypercerts give owners the right to space on the billboard – proportional to their contributions. In addition the ownership of Zuzalu hypercerts can serve as proof of contribution in the future, adding further utility to hypercerts. Pioneering a New Funding Paradigm The retrospective funding model, coupled with the transparency of hypercerts, represents a step towards reimagining how communities support and sustain collective experiences. By embracing uncertainty resolution, subjectively translating impact into monetary contributions, and leveraging blockchain technology for transparency and accountability, Zuzalu is paving the way for a more community-driven funding landscape. As we venture into the future, let us embrace the opportunity to retrospectively fund Zuzalu with hypercerts, recognizing the immense value of our collective contributions and establishing new norms. While retrospective funding for this first Zuzalu event was not announced beforehand as retrospective event sponsorship was only developed at Zuzalu itself, the idea holds even greater potential when individuals are aware of it in advance. Whether you were a participant or an observer – you can be a pioneer of this movement and shape the future of community funding. Let's celebrate the power of retrospection, transparency, and voluntary contributions, propelling us towards a more vibrant and sustainable future for Zuzalu and beyond. Join to be a pioneer of this new funding paradigm!